Going it alone

James Harker-Mortlock has severed all official ties with the National Party to contend the election on his own.

He resigned as a member of the party on Friday, moments before an executive meeting, and also gave up his position as the chairman of the Burrinjuck Nationals.

“The reason for doing it is to save the National Party getting into difficulty with the Liberal Party,” Mr Harker-Mortlock told the Tribune.

An agreement struck between coalition parties guaranteed the National Party wouldn’t run a candidate in the seat of Hume.

Mr Harker-Mortlock said the Liberals made it difficult for his former party by preselecting Goulburn’s Angus Taylor before the agreement was made.

“Really this has created the environment where I’ve had to move on from the Nats in order to be able to do what I think needs to be done.

“That is having a voice for the people in Hume and trying to put forward those issues which I think are important.”

Angus Taylor argued coalition partners across the electorate were happy with him as their candidate.

“I’ve found fantastic support from many Nationals across the electorate and I’m delighted that they see the credentials and capabilities that they like,” Mr Taylor said.

“I will continue to work hard to make sure I have the support of people with a National Party background.”

He didn’t believe people would look to an independent candidate.

“The voters of Hume need to judge whether they want another three years of a hung parliament with a vote of bed partners of Labor, Greens and independents,” he said.

Mr Harker-Mortlock said he was disappointed to have had to resign from the National Party, but it was time to move on.

“[I want to] focus upon my campaign to win the seat of Hume in order to deliver results for the electorate of Hume which has been ignored at the federal level for too many years.”

He announced a 22-policy platform in which the Barton Highway duplication is the highest priority.

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